March 31, 2017. Judges 3-5.
God is a good father. Part of the job of a parent is to teach and ensure that a child knows what to do in dangerous or compromising situations. And any God-fearing parent will pray to have instilled in their children a faith in the Lord that doesn’t simmer down when things get tough, but ignites and becomes even stronger.
In Judges 3, the Lord is preparing His nations for wars and the dangers of choosing to serve idols.
These are the nations the Lord left to test all those Israelites who had not experienced any of the wars in Canaan 2 (he did this only to teach warfare to the descendants of the Israelites who had not had previous battle experience): 3 the five rulers of the Philistines, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites living in the Lebanon mountains from Mount Baal Hermon to Lebo Hamath. 4 They were left to test the Israelites to see whether they would obey the Lord’s commands, which he had given their ancestors through Moses.
The Israelites went against God. People always say it’s easier to serve God when things are going good, and while that may be the case at times, it is also incredibly hard. You start to feel like you can handle things on your own and turn your attention towards idols; like money or success. Sometimes, it’s easier to turn to God when everything in your life has fallen apart and you feel like there is no where else to turn. So no matter what category you’re in right now - life is good I’m in a good place, or I’m not doing great but I also can’t complain about where I am, or I’ve just hit rock bottom- know that God has been, is, and always will be a God of love and faithfulness. Trust Him in every season of your life and you will be blessed by seeing Him work in every season of your life.
A final note for this devotion; the Bible and the history recorded in it is just super cool. Judges 3 contains the documentation of an obese king having a sword shoved so far into his large belly that even the handle disappeared and his bowels were discharged. If you haven’t read the entire passage for today’s reading, please do. There is just too much goodness.